Happy Summer!  I’m currently at Cloverleaf working furiously to get the Farm ready for Wildwood Revival coming up August 18 – 20.  We are adding a bank of bathrooms and outdoor showers off the Office building by the Event Barn.  The office is getting a total makeover on the outside and it’s going to look fabulous!

We are adding brick flooring to the garage pavilion and replacing the steps off the back porch to make them longer and more easily navigated.  No more balancing acts to get up and down them now.

But, my biggest source of pride is the new windmill going in.  It will add such romance to the back field.  It should be ready by Wildwood and I can’t wait for all to see it along with all the updated facilities.

And of course, there is the Arena Garden.  Our Farm Operations Manager, Peter Burke, has an extraordinary green thumb!  There has been an abundance of squash, cucumbers, pinto beans, black-eyed peas, green beans, okra and the sweetest corn I’ve ever tasted!  The tomatoes should be ready in the next week or two.  I’ve been hard at work with pickling and freezing, only stopping to cook up pots of veggies and make some cornbread!



It’s also been a very busy traveling spring.  I joined fellow Les Dames d’Escoffier in Guadalajara, Mexico in search of Tequila and the perfect Mole.  Next was off to Havana, Cuba, in search of Papa (Hemingway), Pilar (his boat) and Pontiacs.  The people of Havana were amazing and some of the most welcoming of any country I can ever remember traveling to. 

Finally, it was a birthday trip off to Frankfurt, Strasbourg, Prague and Berlin in search of Riesling, Tarte Flambé, Goulash and Spargel (white asparagus).  May and early June is Spargel season in Germany.  The Germans only offer this vegetable in the spring.  Roadside stands pop up everywhere selling the local farmer’s harvest.  Restaurants have a special menu (Spargelkarte) where they offer the huge white spears with a plethora of different sauces.  Yummy!

Moving on to Strasbourg, where our own Chef Sandra did her culinary internship, I was tasked by Chef to learn how to make their famous Tarte Flambé (or Flammekuchen in German)!  I signed up for a cooking class and I did my best to figure it out, especially since we will be selling it at Wildwood from our wood fired pizza oven, so we’ll see how I did.  Wish us luck!

In Prague I joined a food tour to rediscover my favorite dish, Goulash with Bread Dumplings.  I wanted to buy a dumpling slicer, but I didn’t since I’m probably not going to make bread dumplings…I’m not a good bread maker!

From Prague it was joining a cruise up the Elegant Elbe River to Berlin via Dresden and Miessen.  Nothing notable about the food in Berlin except my curiosity with the Currywurst (street food for Berliners); a hot pork sausage covered in curried tomato sauce served with french fries...currywusrt is the worst!

Here’s my favorite Eastern European Recipe:


Bacon is key in this recipe, adding subtle smoky notes to the finished dish. You can add vegetables such as potatoes, carrots or sweet peppers to the goulash to make it more hearty and filling. I sometimes pair it with crusty bread, although the traditional way of course, is to have sliced bread dumplings with it.

2 Tbsp Butter

2 Medium Onions, Chopped

4 Cloves Garlic, Chopped

2 Slices Bacon, Chopped

Few Sprigs of Fresh Thyme

1 Bay Leaf, Preferably Fresh

2 lb Boneless Stewing Beef, cut into bite sized pieces

1 Tbsp All Purpose Flour

1 cup each: Red Wine, Beef Broth

Salt to taste

1 Tsp each:

Toasted & Gound Caraway Seeds (or Cumin)

Smoked Hot Spanish Paprika

Sweet Hungarian Paprika

Marjoram (or Oregano)


1 Cup Whole Plum Tomatoes with Puree (about 6), crushed lightly 

2 Tbsp each, finely chopped: Fresh Parsley, Onion

Melt butter in deep heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, bacon, thyme and bay leaf. Sauté 10 min until bacon is cooked down and onions are softened. 

Add beef cubes and brown them lightly for about 5 min. Add flour and cook 1 min. Deglaze pan with wine. Cook 2 min until it starts to bubble, then add broth, salt, all the spices and sugar. Cook 1 min, then add tomatoes. Stir to mix, cover saucepan, and bring contents to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 2 hours until beef is very tender and sauce has thickened a bit, stirring occasionally.

Transfer to serving bowl, garnish with parsley and onion and serve.

Thanks for all you do and remember to always have A DIVINE EVENT!

2017, Main BlogTori HannaA